Class #1718

Mat After Playing Tennis

35 min - Class


In this Mat workout, Monica gives you a glimpse of what she would do if she had just finished playing tennis or running outside. She starts with stretches to open up your lower back, and then she flows through intermediate Mat work. Once you are finished, your body will feel long and aligned.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball, Pilates Pole, Magic Circle

About This Video

Jun 24, 2014
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Okay. So today I am going to give you a little glimpse of something that I would do if I had gone for a good walk, a good, nice power walk or maybe a runner played tennis or something that was doing my favorite thing, which is to be outdoors. Clearly I've get a lot of sun. So, uh, if I was just doing some type of activity, I love to get a good hard intermediate mat in and I stretch out considerably before I begin. So I'm going to be using this little ball. Uh, it really, I've boughten a ball at Costco, anything that or at s sports store authority, anything that is a little bit that you could, uh, not huge ball and then you can take some air out so it gives you a little, um, it's deflated. I'm also going to use magic circle. You could just keep using the ball. And then I might even use this three pound bar for a couple of exercises. But the only one that I would recommend really having for this session is a ball. Or if you don't have one, then you can also roll up a bath towel.

So it's like a nice cylinder and we're going to be putting it under our tailbone. So I want to start off with my stretches and I'm going to lie down on our mat nice and square. And to put the ball just under my tailbone, Jay Grimes actually gave me this little series of stretches to start off. It was something he designed and then showed to Clara polities and she was really, uh, she thought they were really great for opening up the lower back. So had three kids and my lower back.

Loves to get right back into that position of when you are having, when you are pregnant. So it's nice to open up my lower back after I've done some, some good hard activity outside. So with my lower back opening, I would like to think of it like a hammock. I just have it sinking into the map. Sometimes I hold myself with my ribs and so my ribs will be really out of place and I'll need to soften them and anchor through the upper back of my upper, my upper back. So sometimes I've placed my hands here and I'll take a big breath and exhale, really sinking into the mat and it feels just absolutely delicious.

So a lot of these exercises today, inhaling and exhaling are again things that I do to really stretch out yet work hard, uh, to get a nice little workout in and big breath and exhale. So I'm imagining from the top of my spine that starts between my ears all the way down to my tailbone, imagining kind of a circle instead of it lifting or arching up off the mat, almost pushing down through the mat and finishing that nice c curve. And I'm gonna use that to bring my right knee into my chest without my hips shifting and a pull in and I'm going to exhale into the mat and really enjoying stretching. If you had a bad knee, clearly you can't pull your knee in quite as far. We're going to put our foot down, take a breath and exhale, pulling in your left knee. So yeah, my back is nice and opening up. I'm stretching my hip and it's just getting a good stretch.

And then I'll take it to the next step or take a breath and exhale, pulling in my powerhouse, bringing in my right name. And now I'm going to straight my leg up and I'm gonna hold behind my calf because that's what's comfortable for me. But you could hold behind your thigh and plug in my shoulders to the mat. I'm going to point my toes and I'm going to pull all my toes back. And when I point my toes, I try to imagine making my Shin continue to a straight line all the way.

That's my goal. And then flexing and we're really stretching the back of my leg and pointing my toes. I did sprain my ankle little over a year ago and pulling back all my toes. So I love to wake up all the tendons. So I do a little ankle roll, three in one direction, and then three in the other just so that nothing holds me back while I'm doing my workout. And then I'm going to bring my knee in and put it down and bring it in the left knee. Now grounded, my favorite workout would be to get a full Pilati session, stretching hands behind my cath pointing, like chose again, continuing that line and then pulling back my toes. Good.

But I'd love to get all my cardio and my strength training just from Pilati is by getting a really great session from one of our teachers and pointing away. But if had been outdoors, this is what I'll do, circling the ankle and going the other way and the whole time we're sinking into the mat, bending that knee in and then down. So my favorite muscle to use is always by quad and that's what I do Polonius, is to try to all make it my stomach, my powerhouse. So I'm going to connect now my legs to my powerhouse by bringing in my right knee, straightening it, and now making sure my powerhouse stays in as I reached that leg down the middle of my body. And then with my scoop, I'm going to pull it up to the ceiling so I didn't let my lower back art chip off the Mat and I kept all my energy and my stomach and I feel this great length down my whole back, all the way to my foot. And then I feel the great scoop as they've been the leg up and then bend it and put down, do the same on the left and the breathing.

Sometimes it's helpful for me to exhale as I bring the leg up, so I'm going to inhale and exhale. This is a harder side for me and exhale is have to make sure my right hip isn't rolling over to try to help out and exhaling, but really connecting with the belly. And now I'm going to add a hip stretch by crossing my ankle over the knee and bringing that knee towards me. Some people call this the number four stretch. I'm going to put both of my hands behind my right thigh, pulling it towards me, always aware of my alignment and not arching my back off the mat. Then I'm going to keep my right hand behind my thigh and push my left knee away to stretch even more. You should be feeling this right through here.

There's kind of no question about it and then I'm going to put my feet down to switch. You can also switch in the air in a pool, in my powerhouse and put both hands behind my left thigh this time. This is my tighter side. I almost wish I would do an extra set on this and now pushing away with my right hand, my right knee. Also, again, making sure your, I'm not trying to twist my hips to give into the stretch. I need to make sure I'm square and I'm going to switch. Like I said, you can switch in the air when it's not a horribly hard stretch. You could do that. It's easier on this leg, like I said, and now that I'm a little warmed up. I can do that on this side, holding in and just really getting a good stretch.

Good deal. Now I'm gonna bring both knees in and to take the ball away and I'm going to put my feet down on the mat so they're just bent. I'm going to enjoy a nice stretch. Now I'm gonna let my knees fall one direction, my arms fall the other just warming up my back a bit and I use the ball and I hold it in the arm for this away from my knees. And then to go to the other side, it's very important to pull my rib [inaudible] and my spine into the mat as I switched sides.

Might even push down a little bit to enjoy a little extra stretch reaching and then go one more to each side. So it rolling through my back, switching the ball to the other hand, maybe pulling, giving myself a little stretch here, trying to get my ribs to not just go over with my body, but to have opposition. And one more time, the other way, pulling into the mat, switching, stretching, reaching again, trying to get my ribs. To pretend like they can touch the mat. So I'd be going the other direction from my legs. And now I'm gonna just square myself off. So you can either put the ball right between your thighs.

But since I have a magic circle, I'm gonna go ahead and step it up and I'm going to put it between my inner thighs. And your feet are going to be nice and flat. So now I'm going to be working with my pelvis to make sure it connects correctly too. So it's nice and flat right now, not tilted towards me, but flat. And I'm going to imagine that my hips are in a vice and I'm going to narrow my pelvis using my hips. I'm going to draw on my pelvic floor, use my inner thighs to squeeze the magic circle. Now using my powerhouse more than my hip flexors and also using my seat.

I'm going to curl my tailbone towards me. And now as if my spine was a strand of pearls, I'm gonna lift the next bone and then the next and the next. And I also think about reaching. So I'm thinking about reaching my knees forward. I'm really using my hamstrings and glutes and I'm going to give 20 beats. One, two, three.

So my stomach really feels deep and connected. That's 10, 10 more. I'm using my inner and outer thighs, my glutes, my hamstrings, my pelvic floor, and then hold it tight and I'm going to draw up down in my upper spine and the next bone and the next phone until I roll out flat again with my tailbone. And I'll do that one more time and to pull everything together, very important. Curl my tailbone towards me using the right muscles and then curl up my spine, trying to make a straight line from my shoulders to my knees and 20 pumps. Again, you can use just a ball or your imagination, but I'm not lifting and lowering my pelvis.

It's staying flat at a certain level. I'm pumping the circle together. Instead, I lost count, but let's say three to hold. Very important to squeeze the circle on the way down until we're all done with it. Great. Now I'm going to um, put it down on the mat off the side. I'm done with it. Sometimes I use it throughout my mat work. But today I'm going to just put it to the side. Put my hands behind my head, one over the other and lie down.

So now I'm really gonna look at my pelvis when I do my hundred cause I want a lot out of my hundred. So I'm going to inhale and exhale, sinking down. Nice. And N I want a lot cause the a hundred is my only warm up exercise. So only exercise that warms up all the muscles for the rest of the class. Um, exercises on the mat. So in with the air.

And exhale this time without tilting my pelvis, I'm going to lift up my head and then I'm going to look at my until tid pelvis and I'm going to pull my belly and more as I exhale to lift up higher and then take a breath. And then I'm going to exhale, pulling my belly and pressing my neck and my head into my hands as I rule in length and down. I'm gonna do that one more time to get a good upper back stretch and good neck stretch. So in with the air and then exhale. So I'm really pulling in my belly. Big Breath and exhale and lengthening as I go down. Now I'm going to be going into the a hundred now that I feel nice and stretched and take a breath and exhale. I'm going to reach my arms long and start pumping and exhale. On my next exhale, I'll bring my right knee and the breath and bring in my left knee and in with the year and linkedin.

And inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. In with ear and XL, I'm thinking about my shoulders, not making them go up, but trying to keep cold, open, collarbones and exhale, but mainly the scoop. Really get my belly in three more. That's one. And hugging in my knees. Now I'm gonna sit up, put my feet down, make sure I'm centered. My hands are going to be right underneath my knees and warm up my back with a roll back. So taking a big breath, I'm going to exhale.

Pulling back in my powerhouse in hell. Inhale. Yeah. And Xcel coming forward one more time. So I'm really imagining my back going this way, whereas my front's going this way. So now I'm going to go back further to my bra strap. Take a breath and exhale, and I'll do that one more time. And now I'm gonna straighten my legs and I'm going to use this strap since I have it. If I was at home and I really needed it, I could put my feet under a couch, but I often, by the time I've stretched out, I don't, you can just do on the mat without anything.

I'm going to grab the three pound bar, hold it up at shoulder height and stretch. And I'm going to pretend this is a huge heavyweight and I'm gonna pull it back with my powerhouse. That's where I initiated lower back, middle back, upper lifting up and back in with the air head, drawing your belly in and up. And exhale, stretch and back end. Okay. Eh, I'm gonna lose the strap and I'm going to go back cause I'm trying, my goal is to keep my seat right where it is, right and under me. [inaudible] rolling, pushing, squeezing my seat towards my feet.

And I going to do one more [inaudible] so the straps, great to get you there, but once you're there it won't challenge you enough. All right, now I'm going to place the bar by My side. That was the roll up and I'm gonna hug the right knee into my chest, straight in the right leg up. If I was really tight, I'd have to bend my knee and have the foot flat, but I'm feeling good right now. So arms by my side and I'm gonna Cross around, up, cross around, up. So for the rest of this workout, two more. I'm going to keep going out a quick tempo because that's how to do a good intermediate mat. Two more powerhouse, square body and in a hug my knee in and switch.

If I was doing an advanced, I would just switch them in the air. But I'm doing intermediate and arms and pulling it up towards my nose and cross and powerhouse to, sorry, I always reach down to my ankle and high and we're going to reverse reach to my ankle and up, trying to use my stable leg to press down as well. One more. All feels good. Now I'm gonna straighten that leg and I'm going to roll up. So you use your breath, hands by your hips, lift your hips forward and we're going to grab onto her ankles for rolling. Likable. Inhale to roll back.

Exhale to rule fold four more. I'm really trying to start with my lower belly. I'm trying to keep an eye on my shoulders from hunching and last one and rusting down my feet. Putting my hands back, lifting up. I'm going to bring my leg with me, but a series of five and switch scooping in, using my bottom two. Uh, give me good opposition for my stomach. Three more sets. One more. I lose. Count a lot here, but that's what it feels like.

Hands on my ankles in with ear. Exhale, double leg stretch. I'm really trying to keep my belly in obviously, but really pulling in and up. One more. Wrapping in, squeezing and l right leg up, left leg forward and switch and switch and switch. So I'm staying rooted into the Mat with my powerhouse. I'm trying to keep my shoulders down. Seton gauged one more. Set both legs up and hands, one over the other and it's down and up and in with the air.

And exhale, really working the waist muscles. Two more. Last one. And now Chris, Cross twisting and switch. And one more set. Okay. Really pulling into the mat and I was twisting as far as my upper body wanted to today.

So I'm going to sit up one heel on either side. Sometimes your back can get tight. So he always puts spine stretch forward here, pulling your belly in and up and exhale. [inaudible] so many of you know I'm an athlete, not a dancer, so this is something that I always work on to get as low and intimate as I can, but I'm not there on the mat yet. And exhaling, always lifting in your powerhouse, lifting in your ways feels delicious, especially to get the body flowing and moving. Last one. And you can see that my hands can go down here, which makes me ready for my next exercise. So I'm going to pull my powerhouse in and pull back and I'm going to re lift my ankles to my hands for open leg rocker. Okay.

And I'm going to focus on something to go ahead and come right back up to it. And he's my lower belly. Really use my upper stomach to come up. Keep in mind, I'm doing this all to feel good. So my focus is strengthening my powerhouse and massaging my spine and to bring my legs together and I'm going to leave them there and roll down corkscrew as we're going to go to the right circle down around left and center.

So we're going to inhale and exhale there we go in with your and and all the while. I'm trying to connect really on keeping pulled into the mat, which is tough for me right now. And one more set. And sometimes it's easier to go bigger than it is to stay small. Okay. I'm going to sit up and do saw one heel in the middle of each block, arms out to the side, lifting in my waist and twist to the right and exhale. I love this stretch for my body right now, twisting it's ray upper body stretch, reaching my arm in one direction, using my tricep, sewing up my baby toe with the other, but really working the waist and lifting in the waist. Okay, one more set in with the years twist and exhale really squeezing out every last bit of air in my theory air and last exhale.

And now I'm going to flip over onto my stomach. So bring my legs together and flip over and lying down nice and long please. My hands right under my shoulders and gonna take a big breath and exhale. All right. I've got my stomach and my shoulders away from my ears. I'm thinking about my legs like a mermaid tail reaching away from me and my energy out the crown of my head, so I'm going to pull up.

Yeah, really trying to open up my upper back. And now I'm going to look over my right shoulder, circle the head down around left and look forward looking left around right and forward. I'm going to come down really lengthening my spine. My upper back's always been really tight, so I'm gonna imagine there's a little tennis ball behind it. And I'm going to try to roll over, opening up while supporting with my lower back, my lower belly. This time I'll start looking left around.

Try not to move my shoulders, looking over my right shoulder around and forward. And again, lengthening single leg kick is next. I'm going to come up on my elbows, push my knuckles and pull my shoulders as I lift my chest forward. Lift both legs up and engage my right hamstring and glute as I kick two and switch two and one, two and swept. So really trying to press my pelvis into the mat. Use the hamstring and glute reach long with the leg that's not contracting one marcet and now right facial cheek on the mat.

Hands behind my back and three kicks pulling up. I'm gonna kick two three and lift two three and switch cheeks and kick to three and left. I'm really trying to imagine light underneath my thighs as I lift and kick two, three and my stomach am lifting with my powerhouse, not my jerky. My arms will last one, one, two, three and lift two, three and pulling up my powerhouse. Sitting in child's pose with my bottom on my heels.

Carollee my arms as far away as possible. Okay, I'm going to flip over. I am going to use a strap for my neck pool. It's one of the hardest exercises for me, but I'm going to keep stepping it up and lie down without it. Am I going to do that? Actually, I'm going to change onto, I'm going to have my feet right here and instead I'm going to start with my hands behind my head, but start sitting up. That'll give me a little bit of a fighting chance rather than starting from lying down. All right, so take a big breath and I'm going to exhale. Okay. I'm going to inhale, roll up and I'm going to pull on my neck to roll away from my feet and with the year and I'm trying to push my heels away and exhales around over in with the air. And exhale, pulling my belly in and up.

Exhale to your knees. Inhale, sit up tall and exhale back. So we always inhale to start. Exhale to finish in health start and one more [inaudible] but it's a really great backstretch right here and enough. Now I'm going to do my sidekicks. I'm going to lie on my left side to start line myself up at the very back edge of my mat, including my elbow. And I'm going to rest my head on my hand. For right now, put my right hand in front of me and I'm gonna pull in and lift my legs forward just to the front edge. If I needed to, I could also use the box, but today I'm going to just hold them here.

So I'm going to try to keep my hips stacked and ideally I'm going to try to push my head into my hands rather than take a break with my upper body. I also love to think about my stomach never hanging, but instead pulled in in a little bit up off the Mat. Okay, so really supporting my back. All right, so the right leg lifts a little, turns out a little and I'm going to do 10 kicks forward and back. So forward. Yeah, back at stomach and back and powerhouse and glute at 5:00 AM. So I keep it at hip level [inaudible] and I take it as forward as I can, as back as I can without moving my pelvis too much and to do one more. Sometimes I put my hand here to give me an idea. It's my little mic packs.

I'm going to try to hold my hip right here as I do up. So I'm gonna push it up and then really pull in and length India outer thigh up and then inner thighs squeeze is down. I'm going to put my hand back here. Now that I have the idea and add, squeeze and lengthen down and I can't, I remembered my head and do one more. Push up and squeeze my inner thighs together and circle. One, two, three, four, five, reverse one, two, three, four. Now here's the one I never leave out his bicycle cause again, I use my quads a lot and I need a stretch them.

So I'm going to do forward in a bend my knee and I'm actually gonna put my hand on my ankle so that I can use a good stretch right here as my heels to my seat. Then extent doing it one more time at depth. Forward bend money, hand on my ankle. I circled the knee to knee, then I take the knee back and extend. Now I'm gonna Challenge my muscles, so forward. Need a chest, need a knee, and then taking the knee back and back and extend, reversing it, taking it back, pulling my heel to my seat, pulling my need and me knee to chest. And I'm gonna put my arm underneath here for a nice hamstring stretch and back and trying to think. Hips over hips, heel to my seat. Need a knee, need a chest and extend one more back and knee to knee and extent. There we go. Good. Now gonna lie on my belly and I mean small pillar from my forehead.

And I'm going to lift both legs up and 20 beats. I like to start by opening about the width of the math and then squeezing together. Now I've got all my muscles and a one, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. It's like Dorothy, there's no place like home and rest. Alright, I'm gonna roll over to my lane side. All right, so I'm gonna again line myself up nice and long and I'm going to try to keep my head not from resting, but actually putting my hand behind my head and pushing my head into my hands. Then I'm using all of these shoulder girdle muscles to hold myself straight. So you guys are going to be able to see if I'm really staying honest here and I lift my legs up and a little forward, rest them down. I'm gonna try to keep my hips stacked as well.

But keep saying all that we don't want to impact like change your range of motion as well. So trying to but keeping it natural. So my house is in and up and I'm going to kick that leg forward and back and forward and back, pushing my head into my hand, poorly my belly and squeezing my seat, stomach, hamstring and glue. And I'm also stretching the front of my size. I go back and three and stomach and one more and legs together. Now trying to keep my hip stacked on top of the other one.

I'm going to push up and then squeeze down and my stomach's in and it's really in an upright now to lengthen my lower back and outer thigh and inner thighs. I reach out. And two, if I was more flexible, I could push it all the way up to my ear. But I'm really wanting to keep my hips stacked. So I feel the right leg muscles. Five little circles, one, two, three, four, five, reverse one, two, three, four, five. And I'm going to kick the leg forward. Bend the knee again, my hands on my ankle so I can get a nice stretch. And then I'm going to extend one more with it. Bicycle forward. Then the knee, take my ankle and stretch and back in one more forward.

No more hand on my ankle using my muscles and together reverse. So my hamstring and glutes pulls my heel to my seat. My knee comes forward to my chest and I'll give myself a little hamstring stretch and now to without that stretch. So back hamstrings and glutes, pulls it to my seat. Need an e, need a chest and extend one more stomachs in back of the pulls all the way forward and extends legs are together saying lie down on my back and I'm going to bring my knees into my chest and we're going to do teasers. I'm going to bring up my legs. We only shake out the legs so that the muscles aren't gripping.

I'm going to start with kind of a warm up to teaser today, Santa Rocka. And I'm going to do the roll back. So knees are together and I'm going to pull away and I'm going to exhale. So I'm going to inhale, roll back all the way this time even let my arms go and then inhale to start in. Exhaling to come up. So this is my teaser position. So now I'm going to straighten my right leg and I'm going to do the sandwiches. One leg inhale to start and exhale to roll the rest down.

Switch legs and again, and I'm going to both legs up and do it with both legs up. So I'm trying to keep my legs at one level and again, and I'm going to warm up my lower belly. [inaudible] that's teaser two. Teaser three. Okay. Ideally I'm sure you'd lift up my legs at the same time as my upper body, so I'm going to give that another go.

That felt a lot better. Yeah. And one more time. Yeah. All right. Danielle, sit up for seal.

Okay. Lifting my bottom forward. My hands go under my ankles. And the side back a little bit because on this mat I want to stand up afterwards, I feel great. So hands under my ankles. I'm going to try to clap and cheer off the floor. Three claps and through, uh, three claps and inch off the floor behind me and with the air. Exhale.

[inaudible] for more massage in the lower back, using your upper belly. Two, three in with the air. Exhale, that's just rolling through each. Spoke in my spine. Two more [inaudible] and now I'm going to go cross my ankles, push off the earth, and now I'm gonna Undo my legs and reach my arms up to the ceiling. I'm going to turn towards you though. So I just came up like so and just really enjoying all the alignment of my body and I'm going to take a breath and exhale, plug everything in and in with the air, lifting my spine long, my belly into my back and exhale and I'm all done and ready for the day and I really enjoyed that. Thanks.


Perfect timing for this particular class Monica. Back from a 11 mile hike and now I can be sure I am nicely stretched out!
Monica Wilson
Great! Glad to hear it!:)
I love this Monica! Thank you!
Awesome class, Monica!
1 person likes this.
Monica, what a great work out..I became certified to teach mat about 1 1/2 years ago, after being a student for over 10 years. I have followed your classes on Pilates Anytime, for over a year now. And use so much of your routines and cues in. Y classes.
I just finished watching the Eternal Flame, you narrated! wonderful ! Plan on watching many more times! Thank you for all you do to help preserve the legacy!
Ginger Purkey
Great reminders of powerhouse connection and definitely a great bicycle variation too Monica. Thankyou!
Monica Wilson
Thank you everyone! Makes me so happy I could give you something you enjoy and keeps Joe's work alive:)
1 person likes this.
Great class where I find new stretches to add into my classes, thank you from Luxembourg (Europe), Danielle
1 person likes this.
Just what I needed. Thank you :)
1 person likes this.
You've made my day; this was a great class just what I needed today...thank you Monica

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